What is stress?
Stress is one of the most common challenges people face nowadays. It is a normal biological reaction to a potentially (or perceived) dangerous situation. When you encounter sudden stress through a threat or major challenge, whether actual or perceived, your brain floods your body with chemicals and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
This mechanism is called the fight-or-flight response. It is the mechanism which kicks in to fight the stressor or run away from it. It gets your heart beating faster and sends blood to muscles and important organs. You feel energized and have heightened awareness so you can focus on your immediate needs.
Typically, after the response occurs and the threat is over, your body should relax. Often, however, the body remains in the triggered state and does not return to the resting state. Instead of releasing the chemicals and hormones which cause stress, your body keeps producing more. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on your long-term health.
At Soulscape Awakening, we help you to overcome your stress by reconnecting to your true self. With this level of self-realisation, your body can go back into its natural resting state, and will stop attacking itself. Through the process of spiritual awakening, we help you to reach a state of internal harmony where your mind is no longer in control and you get to experience reality as it is without everything seeming like a perceived threat.
Types of stress
Acute stress happens to everyone. It’s the body’s immediate reaction to a new and challenging situation. It’s the kind of stress you might feel when you narrowly escape a car accident. Acute stress can also come out of something that you actually enjoy. It’s the somewhat-frightening, yet thrilling feeling you get on a roller coaster or when skiing down a steep mountain slope.
These incidents of acute stress don’t normally do you any harm. They might even be good for you.
Stressful situations give your body and brain practice in developing the best response to future stressful situations.
Once the danger passes, your body systems should return to normal.
Severe acute stress is a different story.
This kind of stress, such as when you’ve faced a life-threatening situation, can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health problems.
Episodic Acute Stress
Episodic acute stress is when you have frequent episodes of acute stress.
This might happen if you’re often anxious and worried about things you suspect may happen. You might feel that your life is chaotic and you seemingly go from one crisis to the next.
Certain professions, such as law enforcement or firefighters, might also lead to frequent high-stress situations.
As with severe acute stress, episodic acute stress can affect your physical health and mental well-being.
When you have high-stress levels for an extended period of time, you have chronic stress. Long-term stress like this can have a negative impact on your health. It may contribute to:
- cardiovascular disease
- high blood pressure
- a weakened immune system
- Chronic stress can also lead to frequent ailments such as headaches, an upset stomach, and sleep difficulties.
What causes stress?
Some typical causes of acute or chronic stress include:
- living through a natural or manmade disaster
- living with chronic illness
- surviving a life-threatening accident or illness
- being the victim of a crime
experiencing familial stressors such as:
- an abusive relationship
- an unhappy marriage
- prolonged divorce proceedings
- child custody issues
- caregiving for a loved one with a chronic illness like dementia.
- living in poverty or being homeless
- working in a dangerous profession.
- having little work-life balance, working long hours, or having a job you hate
- military deployment There’s no end to the things that can cause a person stress because they’re as varied as people are. Whatever the cause, the effect on the body can be serious if left unmanaged.
Symptoms of stress
Just as we each have different things that stress us out, our symptoms can also be different.
Although you’re unlikely to have them all, here are some things you may experience if you’re under stress
- chronic pain
- insomnia and other sleep problems
- lower sex drive
- digestive problems
- eating too much or too little
- difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- You might feel overwhelmed, irritable, or fearful. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you may be drinking or smoking more than you used to.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand. Stress comes from the demands placed on your brain and body. Anxiety is when you feel high levels of worry, unease, or fear.
Anxiety can certainly be an offshoot of episodic or chronic stress.
Having both stress and anxiety can have a severe negative impact on your health, making you more likely to develop:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- panic disorder
Stress and anxiety can be treated. We work with clients on a daily basis using many strategies and resources to help them reconnect to their true, authentic self, and, with that, moving beyond their stress and anxiety.